Wednesday, 15 February 2017

UEFA Champions League - Match Day Report - Day 2


This was one of those nights where I was able to predict the winner, if not the score-line, and also be right about it.
The fixtures were
Real Madrid Vs Napoli and Bayern Munich Vs Arsenal
 Everyone knew who the clear favorites to win these matches were and everyone was right. So, did we not have any surprises in the match? It's football folks and it'll always be filled with surprises. It was the dominating Madrid trying to go all the way and become the La Liga champions in 4 years and also the first team in the modern era to successfully defend the Champions League trophy and on the other end it was the ever moaning Wenger who had had a disastrous Premier League as he has been having for the past 13 years. With the Premier League title slipping away from his grasp, the last thing that Wenger would have wanted was to face Bayern Munich, that too in their own yard.
It was a night to remember for a few and a nightmare for the others.
Real Madrid Vs Napoli
The defending champions when they welcomed Napoli to the Santiago Bernabeu, they had only one thing in mind, win…win…win. There was just nothing else that the home team could think about given the kind of form they are in at the moment. They had a 40 game unbeaten run, are top of the La Liga with a very good chance of winning it and  they could in my guess, become the first team in the modern era to successfully defend their champions league crown.
Within the very first minute, Real Madrid, had a shot on target and that was how, the game started but to everyone’s surprise the first goal of the game was scored by Napoli’s Insigne and that’ll be a goal to remember for  him forever. It would have been a shot almost from 30-40 yards out. It was a quick break away by Napoli  and when Insigne noticed Navas to be  far away from his post, the Napoli man curled his shot wide and low and found the bottom corner. It was a goal to cherish. If you know Madrid, too well, then you’d know that they don’t like being behind and also that they don’t stay behind for a long time. Minutes later Karim Benzema had a chance at goal which is headed wide but the man made his amends for his missed chance as he opened Real Madrid’s scoring with a fine header and the Frenchman has surpassed Theiry Henry as the leading French player with the most Champions League goals (51).
After the first goal, it was Real Madrid, through and throughout the game. Players like Benzema, Ronaldo and Modric had their missed chances but the pressure and momentum that they were building on Napoli was just too much for the away team.
This was one of those games where Ronaldo played like an all-out winger, his movements were mostly on the outside edge of the box, always had the defenders looking at his feet, dribbled his way gracefully through the Napoli defense and tried as much as possible to support his team with crosses inside the box . It was during his one such attempts, were he floored a defender and made his way into the opposition’s penalty box and assisted Tony Kroos for Real Madrid’s second goal.
Ever heard of a goal out of nowhere? Well that is exactly what Casemiro pulled out when he lashed out a thunderous volley into the far-bottom corner from outside the penalty box. If Insigne’s goal was a wonder and can be cherished for life, this one was even better. It was a stunning strike that got the entire stadium in an uproar.
From that moment on it was a back and forth game but if anything, Real Madrid already had the game in their pockets. The game ended 3-1. So, who will go forward in this knockout round between Napoli and Real Madrid? Well, Madrid obviously have planted their foot strong but in the reverse fixture, all Napoli have to do, is win the match 2-0 and they’ll be through. Madrid are the favorites but still anything is possible in this fixture.
Bayern Munich Vs Arsenal
Same old Arsenal. Same old Wenger. Same old problems.
It was Bayern from the start. They were always surrounding Arsenal like a pack of hungry wolves ready to attack and attack is what they did. Their initial attempt was made by Vidal who fired the shot from outside the penalty box but Ospina hung on to it and moments later Robben showed Here is how it’s done lad and Robben did what Robben does best. He cut in from the left, sized the Arsenal defense and went for his stunning left-foot curl and planted the ball in the far corner of Arsenals net. When Robben does that, there is just nothing you can do about it.
After the first goal, Wenger would have prayed God, please I’ll resign after this season, just help me to get the equalizer and God listened and awarded Arsenal a penalty and thank God, this time they had Sanchez to take the shot and not Ozil. Anyway, Ozil would have been hiding behind someone thinking don’t look for me because I didn't get a good look at him throughout the game.
It was Sanchez Vs Neuer and the first attempt on target was denied by the german goalkeeper as he blocked the shot and because it was Sanchez and not Ozil, the man from Chile ran after the rebounded ball and was able to kick it past Neuer. How does Neuer get it right all the time?
If Wenger had thought that, Okay, we have the equalizer now and an away goal at that. Now, it’s time to score more. Hehehehe. Thank you God, well, Bayern had other plans in store for the old Frenchman.
Lewandowski missed a couple of heading opportunities to score a goal but he can miss twice but not the third time. The third time, the delivery inside the box just so juicy that Robert could not have missed that. He rose the highest and headed it into the Arsenal net. This goal was the first in the second half scored the Bayern and there were many more to come.
Minutes later, a clinical passing game from Bayern gave Tiago the opportunity inside the box and he made the most of it to score Bayern’s 3rd goal of the game and oh, he was the scorer of Bayern’s 4th goal of the game as well which happened within a few minutes. Arsenal did have their chances but there was always Neuer was in their way every single time.
Robben with the 1st goal, lewandowski with the 2nd, Tiago with the 3rd and 4th , who sould score the next one? Well, Thomas Muller of course. A silly defensive error from Arsenal paved the way for Tiago to pass the ball to Muller, who had just come off the bench, and Muller was never going to miss that.
In the end it was Baryen Munich 5 – 1 Arsenal
Arsene Wenger : God…please…
God : SHUT UP.
I don't understand what the problem is with Arsenal when it comes to this knockout round in the Champions league but their recent history has been terrible.
2012 : Milan 4 - 0 Arsenal
2013 : Arsenal 1 - 3. Bayern Munich
2014 : Arsenal 0 - 2 Bayern Munich
2015 : Arsenal 1 - 3  AS Monaco
2016 : Arsenal 0 - 2 Barcelona
2017 : Bayern Munich 5 - 1 Arsenal
Coquelin was wasteful as he had not a single tackle in the game and made just 6 successful passes. Ozil was invisible as ever. Defense was horrible. Sanchez was not getting enough either. I just don’t see Arsenal progressing further in this tournament.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post.